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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Chore for Adaira


Arette
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Cail was bored. She had been back in the Tower for only few days, but she had already done all the normal procedures: she had checked the list of new books in the Library and arranged herself copies of the ones that interested her, spoken with the Mistress of Novices about potentially interesting girls and booked a few classes with them. No one had been Raised to the shawl since her last commission, so there was no real duties. Her imagination roamed free and she was open for ideas and inspiration. She was of a mind to paint today. It would be someone young this time, a trainee or a novice, maybe a fairly new novice since their faces still had that lovely roundness of childhood, but held also a promise of budding feminity.

 

Her eyes scanned carefully everything and everyone as she walked by, searching for the perfect target. Most initiates interpreted her slow steps and interrogating gaze as sterness and approaching nasty task and dropped deep curtsies and raised quickly scurrying off, relieved when her scrutiny passed them. Then Cail saw her. She was fairly certain that the girl had a mixed heritage. The eyes were ever so slightly tilted and the skin had a coppery glow. So Saldaean and Domani. Interesting eye colour too, green with gray flecks. Good bone structure and curly hair... yes, that was a little challenge. Her demeanor didn't imply the Domani seductiveness, though, so maybe she had been reared in Saldaea. Cail doubted that the Tower had gotten at her this fast, since the girl was too young to have been here for long.

 

Cail cupped the girl's face to her hands non-chalantly as she rose from the curtsy. The novice's eyes widened in surprise, but Cail didn't even notice. She was normally quite reserved around strange people and very conscious of touching, but when the inspiration came, she was as oblivious to everything else but her target as the most absent-minded Brown absorbed in her book. Cail murmured softly about the proportions and how she was either Autumn or Winter and how she would find out with fabrics in her room.

 

Finally after a moment a conscious look returned to her eyes and she stepped back from the girl, smiling slightly down at her. "Yes, you will do just finely, child. What is your name?"

 

"I am Adaira Tamrinin, Aes Sedai", the girl replied somewhat timidly. Neither her first name nor last name screamed of her origins, but Tamrinin sounded more Saldaean and Adaira Domani. So maybe her mother really was a Domani despite her meek posture. Most curious. She would find out more about this.

 

"That is a good name, Adaira. I am Caillie Sedai and I have something for you to do if you have nothing else right now." The girl shook her head soundlessly and Cail reminded herself that the girl's class would most likely start in few hours. She obtained the name of her teacher, a Gray reminding Cail with distaste of her own mentor, and sent another novice to deliver her a word that she was lending Adaira today.

 

"Follow me then, Adaira", she said and began to lead the way to her rooms in the Brown Ajah quarters. She wasn't much for a chatter at this point, since she was visualizing what all preparations were necessary before she could start capturing Adaira on canvas. Small talk would come when she would set the girl for posture as she would most likely be nervous and couldn't relax. Talking seemed to set most at ease.

 

When they reached the thick door of Cail's apartment, she pulled it open and brisk, fresh scent of lemon and mint wafted outside. Unsurprisingly the room was packed with books. They filled the shelves and laid on neat piles on top of desks and all free chairs. There wasn't a speck of dust over them, even though the corners of the rooms and the folds of Caillie's burgundy velvet curtains were quite rich with it. Aside from few beautiful pieces of ornaments... and the copious number of paintings of beautiful, naked human bodies, the room was very minimalistically furnished. Every piece was a work of art in itself, but the room avoided being gaudy because they all fit together so harmoniously.

 

Cail motioned at one desk free of books by the window. It was full of jars and brushes and a painting rack with empty canvas stood beside it. "There, that is your task. I need you to grind paint materials in a mortar and mix paints for me. Then you will sit as a my model as I am going to paint you. I'm certain that your mother taught you to mix skin paints, no? And a painting of you has been made for potential suitors, so posing isn't completely unfamiliar to you, correct? Did your mother and seamstress determine what are the best colours for you? I always try to make my models make the colours for their own pictures with my assistance, since I believe that we all instinctively know what looks good on us, if we just don't think it too much."

 

 

Caillie Redhill

Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah

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This is too good to be true, a whole afternoon to myself before the evening class! Adaira was thinking to herself. The whole day she had run from task to task and with all the classes in between, she had hardly had time to eat. On the way to the garden where she had planned to spend those few hours of free time before her next class she was stopped by one of the Aes Sedai. She had seen the woman watching her and tried to hurry past, but for some reason the woman was determinated to take her. As she rose from her curtsey the Aes Sedai cupped her face between her hands and seemed to be extremely interested in her face and features. Muttering something incomprehensible about proportions and fabrics she finally let Adaira go with a smile on her lips.

 

"Yes, you will do just finely, child. ... I am Caillie Sedai and I have something for you to do if you have nothing else right now." So there goes my freetime... Adaira sighed and turned to follow Callie Sedai to her rooms. Of course, the novices were kept busy for their own good (so that they'd have no time for pranks or thoughts about running away), but still, it would have been nice to have a little while when she could have done as she pleased. And now... Usually the tasks given by Aes Sedai to novices included dusting, cleaning up dirty clothes and dishes and all kinds of nasty domestic homework which most novices didn't like at all. Adaira was no exception.

 

They made their way upstairs to the Brown quarters in silence, Callie Sedai was clearly deep in her thoughts and Adaira didn't dare to ask what was the reason for her interest. Inside the room she could see that the woman was Brown to boot (or slipper, in this case). The room was filled with books and beautiful artwork, all set to highlight beautiful colours and lines of the furniture and ornaments. Even the piles of books were like works of art, there to give an impression of orderly neglect.

 

"There, that is your task. I need you to grind paint materials in a mortar and mix paints for me. Then you will sit as a my model as I am going to paint you. I'm certain that your mother taught you to mix skin paints, no? And a painting of you has been made for potential suitors, so posing isn't completely unfamiliar to you, correct? Did your mother and seamstress determine what are the best colours for you?"

 

Adaira couldn't hide her amazement. A portrait of her? Posing for Callie Sedai was to be her task? Slowly she walked to the desk where the jars and brushes lay and started picking some of the jars up and open them to see what was inside. Different colours, all colours imaginable. Of course she had been taught to mix skin paints, but that was complitely different! With the skin paints there were only a few basic mixes to do and then it was ready. With all these colours one could paint everything and not only shades of skin. Besides, she had never painted canvas. It could be nothing like painting lips, for example. Finally she chose some deep green to be mixed with a shade of blue so that she got forest green. Not the green of these southern forests, but the colour of pines in Saldaea and other Borderlands. Next she took some from the big jar full of white and added to it some colour so it was more like golden cream.

 

While she added some other colours next to those two she found herself remembering the painting of her first portrait. It had been an awkward situation, she had been almost 15 and absolutely loathed the painter. For some reason his gaze had made her very uncomfortable and selfconscious and the final result had been a disappointment. What a waste of their monies that had been, especially since she'd never get any suitors now, here in the Tower.

 

Finally done with the colours, Adaira tried to think if there was still some shade she had forgotten. Sighing to herself she couldn't do much else but wait for the next instructions and looked at Callie Sedai if she had something to say. Putting all the jars down and closing them so that they didn't dry, she tried to imagine what kind of portrait this one would be. If Callie Sedai had really painted all the paintings hanging on the walls, Adaira could say that she was quite a good painter. In fact, this might prove to be very interesting experience yet.

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